5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 25, 2019 9:59 AM by ha-moderator-amanda RSS

    Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?

    thomashock New Member

      got this today.


      Hello, we are looking to stay one Week in your area. We would welcome advice on which are the best times in terms of weather, availability of accommodation, how busy things will be, etc. Kindly share your phone number and personal website if you have Or you can call me at

      315. If I were to give you the next three digits they would be 656. To finish dialing 64 then 14.

      Text message if I am not available, I will call you back.

      Does this look familiar to anyone?

        • Re: Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          It is either a scam or someone who is reading the blogs on how to avoid the service fees charged by the OTAS.  I would simply respond with a very high quote then mark it as spam.

          • Re: Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?
            scottr Active Contributor

            I would answer their questions (except the phone and website), and then call them.  They sound like an educated consumer.

            • Re: Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?
              susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

              Inquiry may or may not be a scam. Once someone inquires through VRBO, you may not book off site per T & C. If a traveler wants to book direct, they need to find you by another method.

              • Re: Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?
                ambidextrous Active Contributor

                100% scam. I've received this exact message. They're so lazy they cannot even be bothered with changing "your area" to your area! They don't have dates, they don't know the weather, they cannot read your calendar for available dates. Report as scam. Move on.

                • Re: Anyone familiar with this type of scammer message?
                  ha-moderator-amanda HomeAway Employee

                  Hi thomashock, thank you for sharing this example of a scam inquiry. The following link has a lot of information regarding identifying scam inquiries and how to protect yourself: How do I spot a vacation rental scam inquiry? | Vrbo Help


                  Here are some common red flags that are included in the article link above:

                  • Demonstrates a poor grasp of spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation
                  • Uses a free online e-mail service
                  • Gives you far more information than the typical traveler
                  • Is a religious figure, sea captain, doctor, or officer in the armed forces
                  • Wants to arrange a surprise trip for someone else
                  • Provides excuses about not being able to use a credit card (i.e. they don't feel comfortable because credit cards aren't "safe" or available where they live)
                  • Wants to pay by certified check, cashier's check, or unsecured wire transfer
                  • Offers to pay more than your stated rate
                  • Unsolicited payment information in the initial inquiry
                  • No inquiry comments or traveler phone number provided
                  • Arrival within 24 hours for a short stay (i.e. They stay/leave before the owner becomes aware that funds are reversed because of the use of stolen credit card information.)
                  • Refers to your home improperly in the body of the inquiry (i.e. asks about your lovely apartment when you own a cabin)
                  • Submits inquiry for specific dates but will often time tell homeowner that dates are flexible
                  • Gives you an uneasy feeling that something isn't quite right.